Writing

I’m writing a fantasy steam-punk story set in the afterlife. There’s a lot to do, not least keep the world-rules coherent and indomitable.

Here, I’ll be posting about how it’s going and my thoughts on the creative process.

Focus – the Nemesis of the Chaos Draft

Editing your first draft down can be a daunting task. But step one is to admit that what you’ve created so far is a revolting splurge of word-mulch.

A world-building Rift

Oculus Rift is an utterly immersive experience, but what can we learn from it in building our own word-worlds.

Having a domestic with the first draft – editing is a bitch

Creating seemingly sentient characters is both rewarding and heart-breaking, because at some point they’re not going to do what you say any more.

Followers, favourites & frantic defilement – weary writers on Twitter

Desperate times call for desperate measures, as writers try to get their books under the noses of the world.

The Songs My Destination – how music can supercharge our stories

With news that music and literature synchronising service Booktrack has secured further funding, I recall a the sensory overload of reading The Stars My Destination to downbeat electro Pretty Lights.

Every man has agency – except the everyman

Giving an everyman protagonist agency, when all their hopes and dreams reside in an unreachable dimension, requires some invention.

Why your manuscript sucks – (and how to fix it)

Coincidence and listless characters might be clogging your plot. But there is a way to resolve the problem. It’s just a lot of hard work.

Breakthrough! – ye draft bastard

Wonderful feeling, finishing the plot outline. And nothing more useful than a chapter breakdown of the entire thing. Rejoice!

Finding time to write – a new train of thought

Shaving nine minutes out of your day to do some more writing is an unconquerable joy. I found an extra 90 minutes!

Inappropriate metaphors are like Jesus playing ukulele – vivid but unconvincing

Make sure your metaphors make sense when coming out of the mouth (or head) of your characters.

Ideas in a flash – the benefits of micro-fiction

A story in 200 words? What’s the point?! SILENCE HEATHEN and let me explain.

Authors – keep your eyes on the prize

Foolishly taking advice from Ed Miliband, I placed my pledges in stone. So should you.

Social media screamers & automated steamers

You need to be SOCIAL on social media – otherwise you’re just screaming repeatedly into an abyss.

F*ck, Frack or Fiddlesticks – What to do about swearing

An exploration of profanity in fiction, using lots of swear words.

Daring to dream in 2016

Looking ahead at a potentially very exciting year.

Within written erotica, I remain a veritable virgin

Searching for tips (ooh-err) on sensual (eh? eh?) narrative porking.

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

A call for critique.

The Oxford comma? – Actually, you’re all wrong

The Oxford comma is inconsistent, divisive, and often necessary.

Cliffhangers – are they for your characters, or your readers?

Having separate characters uncover the same truth becomes tiresome for the reader.

My book craving has been Kindled

Buying an e-Reader opens your world to a vast ocean of tales and typos.

Scribophile – can it make you a more mature writer?

Getting good critique from your mates can be tough when they aren’t. Sometimes you need to rely on the honesty of strangers.

A man of few words – use facts to fix your fiction fatigue

With a writing journal, you can track your word count and MAKE PRETTY GRAPHS.

Dead ends – and how to rescue your characters from them

Either your characters die, or you need some bat-inspiration from your utility belt.

Rejections are my hubris-humbling chums

How not to deal with sustained and merciless rejections

Dialogue tags, action beats and punctuation – a quick guide

“Do you have any tips on dialogue tags,” she asked, questioningly.

12 top tips for wannabe writers

If you don’t realise I’m taking the piss within the first couple of sentences, you don’t know me very well.

Head-hopping – that most derided of narrative blunders

Whether it be Aliens on the C64 or Game of Thrones on your Kindle, our concept of POV is constantly evolving.

The final Act, and the temptation to flee

Closing in on the end of your novel can be daunting. I try to make sense of my anxiety.

Writer progress: I am no longer a slush puppy

The closest I’ve come to having a piece accepted for publication…

Twitter culls – the naked truth

I unfollowed hundreds of accounts because I’d been using Twitter all wrong.

What a writing journal can teach you about productivity

Digging down into the data to find my most productive writing sessions.

Another arbitrary milestone

200 WordPress followers and counting.

15 lessons learned from my first #NaNoWriMo

A week in, and I’ve already got advice for NaNoWriMo novices.

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